Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has tasks the Nigeria Cardiac Society, (NCS) to develop innovative solutions and reinvent methods to reach out to patients with cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Dr Olusegun Ogboye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lagos state, made the call at the 50th anniversary and scientific conference of the NCS in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference was : “Delivering Cardiovascular Care in Emergency and Disaster Situations”.
”Science and technology has successfully made life easier and better through several inventions and innovations, such as telemedicine and use of artificial intelligence in the health sector.
“As we are aware, people with underlying health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, are more at risk of the severity of COVID-19 complications.
” “The World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed in 2016 that non-communicable diseases are estimated to account for 29 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria.
”With cardiovascular diseases being responsible for 11 per cent of these deaths and also responsible for a high burden of morbidity and disability leading to strokes and others.
“These statistics serve as a pointer to the fact that cardiovascular diseases have somewhat dire consequences when not properly and closely monitored,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that in Lagos state telemedicine has been integrated into our health care system.
“It is one of the innovations we have embraced from the lessons COVID-19 has taught the world.
“I remain proud of all the great strides and achievements of the society, being the first cardiac society to perform an open heart surgery in black Africa.
“This society has contributed to manpower training in cardiovascular medicine and surgery,” Sanwo-Olu added.
Speaking, Dr Okechukwu Ogah, President, Nigerian Cardiac Society said there was need to collaborate with basic, social and public health scientists in order to advance our research in common cardiovascular health conditions in the country.
Ogah said that in recent time there had been remarkable contributions of our members in the areas of congenital heart disease, hypertension, COVID-19 and other heart diseases.
“We are also working with the World Heart Federation(WHF) and Federal Ministry of Health in many areas to tame the growing burden of Non-communicable Diseases.
” It is no doubt that we are working in very difficult terrain at a time the world is bedeviled by a pandemic, “he said.
Oga noted that locally, they were facing a very disruptive health care system, massive migration of health workers, economic down turn, devaluation of our currency and high cost of drugs.
“We therefore, use this opportunity to call on our governments at all levels to look into the plights of our patients and those who provide the care.
” We thank all the public and private health institutions that have added value to the practice of cardiovascular medicine in Nigeria.
“At the founding of our society, there were very few human and material resources to take care of the cardiovascular needs of the country.
” Today cardiac care services are provided in many tertiary centres and private owned super specialty cardiac care services are springing up, but currently affordable to the rich in the country, “he said.
Oga called on the Federal and State Governments to embrace universal health coverage and provide the enabling legal framework and resources in Nigeria.
Also contributing, Prof. Amam Mbakwem, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the conference said that the time was apt for us to deliberate on the best way to deliver cardiovascular care during these periods.
Mbakwem said that the level of environmental degradation, global warming, encroachment on the natural habitats of some of the hosts or carriers of these pathogens, no one was sure what happens next.
” However, come what may, we would innovate and look after our patients in a safe and effective manner.
“The problems of cardiovascular care delivery are magnified in our environment with very weak and fragile infrastructure and health systems.
” During this conference, we will take a critical look at how far we have come as a society as we attain the golden jubilee age.
“In this conference, we have three generations of cardiologists; founding fathers, the cardiovascular care professionals of today and our young fellows,” she said.(NAN)